Two of our goals for this season are to bring more Arabic work, and continue to introduce contemporary dance in a place where it’s been fairly rare. Badke, a Palestinian-Belgian collaboration that mixes dabke, the popular social dance, with contemporary dance, hip-hop, capoeira, and circus, speaks to the way that NYUAD brings Arabic culture into dialogue with so many other cultural traditions. The piece is almost relentlessly high energy, with joyous pure dance sections, along with evocations of life under occupation. Each of the dancers brings their individual personality to the powerful ensemble piece. And for those inspired to move, we’ll follow the Thursday night performance with a participatory dabke dance party to a soundtrack selected by members of the Badke company themselves.
Zahed Sultan / DJ Dolores
So much of the conversation about culture in the UAE has to do with reconciling ideas of heritage and modernity. The two electronic artists sharing this bill each explore these ideas in their own way, as we transform the Black Box into a dance club.
Zahed Sultan, from Kuwait, is a producer and musician, a curator of digital art festivals, and a social entrepreneur. His project Resonance (the second time that word appears in a show title this season) will bring together an international band of musicians and a hip-hop contortionist dancer, in an immersive multi-media presentation that draws from his connections to the visual arts world.
DJ Dolores is one of the stars of the manguebeat scene of Northeast Brazil, an artistic movement which has deeply affected my own interest in how hyperlocal and global influences can co-exist without diluting each other. In his first UAE performance, following a performance at the closing ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Rio, DJ Dolores reunites his first band Orchestra Santa Massa, which draws heavily from regional folk music as well as experimental breakbeats and dub, and adds frevo (the soundtrack of Carnival in their region) sax virtuoso Maestre Spok.
Art Gallery Grand Opening! Invisible Threads: Technology and its Discontents
The information age has given us modes and means of communication unrivaled in history, ranging from smartphones and social media to electronic financial and other transactions. Yet these same tools also generate anxiety about a user’s exposure via these modes, whether to risk of hackers or from technology’s effect on our environment.
This exhibition explores the tensions that emerge in our everyday relationships with technology, looking at such issues as isolation vs. connectedness, and privacy vs. social media.
Written by Bill Bragin and NYUAD Public Affairs